26 March 2012

Spring Break!

Sorry, please don't be jealous...

I have to say, Spring Break as a teacher is way more awesome than it was as a student. Well, I didn't take any great trips like I did in college, but the relief of Spring Break was felt tenfold versus when I was a student! (Well, maybe excluding graduate school...)

Interestingly enough, my Spring Break consisted of lots of working, but I was actually excited about it....whhhhat? Yes, I basically spent my week doing things I can't get done in a normal week: doctors appointments, tax prep, planting flowers, scrubbing various things, and doing lots of car maintenance with my Dad. He came in town for the last few days of my week off due to business out here and he helped me do loads of work on both of the cars as well as the garage and other odds and ends around the house that require male assistance...so thankful for a handy Dad! Now I have a few new tricks up my sleeve to show off to Brian when he gets home :)

Speaking of Brian, he is doing well! He switched jobs so he's not in as much imminent danger as he was before; praise the Lord! His new job is still stressful and he's liable for all sorts of expensive things, but I breathe a little easier knowing he's somewhat safer... :) This weekend marked 6 months of deployment down--wahoo! The time is moving at a pretty good clip, mostly thanks to how busy school keeps me. Buuutttt I'm still super ready for him to come home! This deployment has taught us a lot about communication, priorities, and how to go on with life while still keeping the other one involved. It's provided several challenges and some frustrations (like craptastic Middle Eastern internet that goes out for 10 days so you're not really sure how your husband is doing/where he is...), but all in all, I can't really complain! I have awesome neighbors who always wheel my trashcan in for me because I've already left for work (seriously--this is one of my least favorite things and they do it without even knowing how much I hate it!), incredible friends to weather the weekends with, and an awesome church that is so supportive! The Lord has definitely blessed us during this time!

El Paso has already started to heat up...we hit the 90s this weekend and it's nowhere but up from here! Soooo if you need some heat without humidity, the desert welcomes you with open arms :)

We have a few fun things planned to get us through this final push--this weekend I get to come home and I'm so excited! One of my dearest friends from growing up is getting married, most of my best friends will be home, AND we're going to see "The Hunger Games"--I'm so stoked about all three! Seriously, don't judge the book since it's about teenagers killing each other...it's so much more than that-read the books first! And be prepared to not move once you sit down. That's another thing I did over Spring Break...read the first 2 Hunger Games in less than 24 hours...nerd alert.

School is going well--we only have something like 7 or 8 Mondays left-hooray! I love my job but this girl is ready for a breather...it's been non-stop since January and there's no sign of slowing down...Someone remind me again how I got volunteered for Yearbook? ha! I enjoy it, it just consumes me and my free time.

Well enough rambling; I'm off to create fake pesos and euros to use to teach the kids to barter and go shopping in Spanish...que divertido!

02 March 2012

Blogger Fail

I'm sure no one reads this any more, because let's be honest, I have posted practically nothing in oh, I don't know how long because it's been THAT long...Life has been literally non-stop for the past 5 weeks or so. If I'm not at school, I'm either working on school stuff, planning for school stuff, working on FRG things or attending them, at church or Bible study, or asleep. Eating is also in there, because eating is high on my priority list always, regardless of the situation.

So, a quick rewind: February is a crazy month at school. I co-lead "Valentine's Grams" at school, which required a lot of bargain shopping, order forms, and putting my crafty bow-making skills to good use. It was really fun to get to work with my teenagers in a non-classroom environment. I sponsor the Christian Honor Society, which is basically like National Honor Society for those of us who didn't go to a private, faith-based school. I love working with my girls (it's comprised of all girls currently...boys need to get their grades up!) because I get to know them better and really learn about who they are and help them navigate life...I love it. So often my teenagers come to me and ask, "Mrs. Page, what would you do if...." Now typically when they say this, my palms begin to sweat and I begin to pray intensely because let's be honest: they're teenagers, and you might die if I told you some of the things that come out of their mouths. But I love it. I love that they feel comfortable enough to ask me hard questions, questions that show me they're seeking to know truth and how to apply it in their lives. But like I said--I basically pray my way through the conversation because of several reasons: A) They always catch me off-guard and I panic; B) I'm always nervous; and most importantly, C) because I know I can depend on the Lord to give me words when I am unsure and when I deeply desire to lead these kids to do life Christ's way.

After Valentine's Grams came Senior Week, known to public school kids as "Spirit Week": the week you get to dress wacky, act stupid, and at the end of the week, have a dance. Well, it's a smidge different at our school, but the same concept. I got to wear JEANS two days that week--I was estatic. We can't wear pants of any kind so when the opportunity arose for me to wear not only pants, but JEANS, you best believe I took it. We had some fun activities for the entire school, like tug-of-war, watching a movie together (Lion King! And you better believe me and my fellow teachers sung along!), and pie a senior in the face...should've known this would turn against me. I was helping clean up from the pie mess, and my students attacked me...good thing I was ready and was able to quickly and efficiently retaliate. I also realized that my days of sprinting in high school have not completely left me, which worked greatly to my advantage. We had a half-day that day, because that night was Senior Banquet; no dancing, but dinner, fancy dresses, and fun skits!

That night, I did double duty; we had a "Half-Way" party for FRG at the Brigade level, where we celebrated the deployment being half-way over! I wasn't able to stay the entire time, but I helped out creating the decorations and pouring our beverage into the grog bowl...so fun :) A friend and I wore ACU pants, ran screaming from the back of the room, and shot our beverage into the grog bowl with giant supersoakers...it was amazing. After that, I did a quick costume change and headed to Senior Banquet, because I was part of an act there as well...the other high school teachers and I did a rap for our seniors, and it was hilarious. The kids loved it and even though I botched my lines because I got nervous, it was still incredibly funny. The English teacher and I wrote the rap and it took me back to my college days when Stacey and I would write goofy poems for...everything. Really. Everything. :)

Annnnd after that, the night was still not done. Some of the seniors asked me to chaperone them to a movie. This totally caught me off guard--seniors? Need a chaperone? Come to find out one of our exchange students has quite strict host parents, so they required that a chaperone be there; and it was pretty late, so it made sense. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't a terrible idea; El Paso is huge--over half a million people, and while we're the "2nd safest city in the USA" (no lie, it's true), that doesn't mean there aren't a good handful of folks who could take advantage of young kids. Initially I was a little nervous, but it ended up being so much fun! It was fun to get to spend time with them outside of school; felt like youth group all over again :) None of them are actually in my class, so that made it less awkward. After that, we raced to Taco Bell (hello, high schoolers). I got in later that night that I have in I'm not sure how long...I slept forever the next morning! I can't do those late nights (actually, early mornings) that well any more!

This week life finally slowed down...and Spring Break is in a week, so that is AWESOME! Maybe I'll update the blog again...haha!

Onto my sweet other half...Brian is doing well; he switched jobs so he's not constantly in harm's way like he was the first 5 months over there, praise the Lord. He doesn't really love his new job (paperwork....) but he does admit it will help him learn new skills that will be important later on down the road. We're hoping with his new position we'll be able to talk more since he won't be out and about as much! And hallejuah, we're over half-way done with this thing! So exciting! But I have to say, even through all the miles, our December heartbreak, and infrequent communication, the Lord has blessed us so incredibly much! I keep telling people this: "the anticipation is much worse than the reality". Before he left, we had no idea what to expect, and that made me, especially, anxious and worried about this time without him. But having a job, friends, and incredible church here have made life so much easier! The Lord knew what we were going to need and it is so evident how He put situations, my job, my friends, and my church in place before I even knew it! Totally claiming Deut. 31:6-8, being strong and courageous in Him, knowing that He goes BEFORE me always and is always WITH me. What an incredible promise to rest on! We do not have to worry about the now or the future, because He is there. What a peaceful knowledge that is!

Well, that is about all from the El Paso homefront...we're getting into windy season which is such a joy...the sunshine is wonderful as is the temperature, but my oh my, the WIND! It is normal for the spring to have 35-55 mph winds daily--normal. You better believe my hair looks oh-so-cute those days... :) I'm going to leave you with some pictures and videos for your enjoyment-adios!

The mountains on a clear morning; was trying to show how BIG the moon was this particular morning!

Dust out...Yes, visibility is about a mile, or less--the mountains from the above picture are right in front of me and you cannot see them!

Same story; the winds here blow all day, but in the afternoon the dust picks up. You can see the outline of the mountains, but that's it...on a clear day, you can see for miles! It's beautiful!

Annnd here's the rap to our seniors :)